Monday, November 24, 2008

Manna from heaven?

From a letter to

My husband and I are both conservative Christians who are totally committed to being prepared. Our problem is that we have encountered other conservative Christians who believe that manna will literally fall from Heaven if famine comes upon the land. I was personally told by my former pastor that I was "stupid" for storing food and owning guns. He also told me that by being prepared I was demonstrating a "lack of faith in God". He told me that God would provide for me in the form of manna falling from Heaven if disaster ever struck. This story, unfortunately, is extremely common within the conservative Christian church. My husband and I have come across people like this over and over again. Other than telling these people that manna falling from Heaven was a one time event, quoting Scripture like Proverbs14:8, and reminding them that even Noah prepared for disaster by building the ark - how do my husband and I deal with people like this from a Christian perspective? Prayer seems to be the only answer....
[Emphasis added]

Jim Rawles' Bible-based answer is thorough and correct. I would add only that "manna from heaven" is almost certainly a crass euphemism for what these Christians really expect to receive if things get bad in America: copious government handouts. As Gary North once said on this very subject, when the improvident saint boasts, "God will take care of me" in a famine, what he actually means is, "You (my neighbor) will take care of me!"

Many of these smug, short-sighted Christians are parents. Evidently they're willing to risk the health and lives of their own children on the expectation of permanently cheap, abundant food.


  1. Quite right on the preparation issue. Jesus in Matthew 6 addresses those who have little or no option in the face of difficulty. If you obey your calling, you should not fear starvation, even if that's how it ends. God knows when a sparrow *falls*. The issue of defense is directly tied to calling, as well. No one believer can answer that for another.

  2. There would be no sense or compassion in criticizing people who are too poor to prepare. And only God knows the difference between the genuinely improvident saint and the one He has commanded to "travel light".

    That said, I have noticed over the years that spiritually minded Christians don't generally respond with mockery or flippant optimism when you mention the possibility of famine. We might say they know the Lord too well (having drawn close to Him in their daily lives) to assume He has some obligation to spare us calamities. The scoffers and prospective dole seekers tend to be those who already give the impression of spiritual shallowness. The latter presume that the same God who obviously allows dusky Third Worlders to starve in great numbers will play nice with the American middle class.